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Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:53 am
Author: Anthea
Thousands form Extinction Rebellion’s
logo in protest at Glastonbury

Thousands of festival-goers at Glastonbury formed Extinction Rebellion's hourglass symbol in a bid to draw attention to climate change issues

The protest group joined forces with long-time event partner Greenpeace in a call to join a climate-climate rebellion.

The campaigners marched through Worthy Farm led by Extinction Rebellion's pink "Tell the Truth" boat, which was last seen in London's Oxford Circus when the group brought parts of the British capital to a standstill in April.

They called on ordinary people to join a youth strike planned for September, which they said aimed to force government and business to take the climate emergency seriously.

Activist Lizzy Haughton said while sitting in the middle of the symbol: "I think people are finally beginning to realise that, in order to tackle the climate and ecological emergency, we are going to have to be radical."

Gail Bradbrook, Extinction Rebellion co-founder, said the demonstration had been made particularly memorable by the presence of leaders from indigenous communities worldwide, such as Ecuadorian shaman Kurikindi.

She said that she hoped all corners of the festival, which was in full swing on Thursday ahead of the start of the main performances on Friday, would heed the protesters' message.

"I'm hoping they hear this prayer," she said. "There's limited juiciness in hedonistic indifference. There's something better on offer."

The event, a collaboration between Extinction Rebellion and Greenpeace, began at the Park Stage with speeches from 4pm.

Crowds with placards and flags, accompanied by models of insects and other species, made their way to the Stone Circle.

There they formed a large human sculpture of an hourglass to symbolise extinction, with music by folk singer Nick Mulvey.

Temperatures at the Somerset site, which spans 900 acres, reached 26C by Thursday afternoon.

Many taking part in the march wore hats or held umbrellas to shield themselves from the sunshine, while others stripped off to sunbathe.

Forecasters have warned that tents could become uncomfortably hot on Thursday night, as aerial images revealed how Worthy Farm has been transformed into a temporary city of 200,000 people

Student Ruairi Brogan from Belfast attended the march with a group of friends

"I followed the ER procession and we thought it was important to show our support and be part of something we felt would make a mark on Glastonbury and history," Mr Brogan said.

"I think it will be remembered as the start of something, of change."

Ashleigh Hodges, 28, from London, came to the Stone Circle after having a hand-fasting ceremony with her partner at Glastonbury Festival.

"I missed this protest in London because I was working away and I was gutted so when I heard it was happening here I wanted to come," she said.

"It's been so lovely and its nice to see everyone connected for the right reasons and pushing for beautiful things to happen.

"Everyone wants to save the world - it's a really lovely thing."

Daryl Haines, 21, said that going to a festival could make people realise they did not need plastic bottles or cutlery or to shower every day.

"People need to be taught that we can change. I think people really were listening today.

"I hope the image of people standing in the Extinction Rebellion sign will really get that message across."

On Sunday, Extinction Rebellion will also join forces with the Wisdom Keepers to hold a minute silence on the Pyramid Stage, in memory of Make Ecocide Law founder Polly Jenkins.

Extinction Rebellion also has set up a “Rebel Rebel” tent in the Green Futures field for the weekend with a program of talks on the “climate emergency”.

Dr Gail Bradbrook said before the event: “The climate emergency is the most dangerous threat currently facing all life on earth."

“It is also important to acknowledge the people who have been standing up for us and for our planet for years,” she added.

Organisers said more than 100,000 ticket holders were on site by 8am on Thursday morning, slightly up on the same time in 2017 when the festival was last held.

The main stages open on Friday, when Lauryn Hill and George Ezra are due to play the Pyramid stage before first headliner British rapper Stormzy. ... 77741.html

Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:42 pm
Author: Anthea
Extinction Rebellion to rally against
single-use plastics at Wimbledon

Extinction Rebellion is planning to campaign at Wimbledon over the excessive use of single-use plastics at the tennis tournament

The group is due to arrive at the All England Lawn Tennis Club at 2pm on Sunday to begin the campaign.

It follows Extinction Rebellion blockading several parts of London earlier this year, including Parliament Square, Oxford Circus and Waterloo Bridge.

The main focuses of the latest campaign are drinks companies Evian and Robinsons, whom they claim are adding to the climate crisis.

Evian has vowed to become a circular company by 2025 and is using this year's tournament to launch its new 100 per cent recycled water bottle.

Extinction Rebellion said: "Our message is simple. No more plastic bottles. No more single-use plastics - it's naive to think we can recycle our way out of this problem."

It added: "[Evian and Robinsons] are adding to the unacceptable proliferation of single-use plastic waste thatthreatens biodiversity in our oceans and contributes to climate chaos."

A spokesman for the group said: "The action will be peaceful - in line with everything Extinction Rebellion does.

"It is targeting sponsors such as Evian and Robinsons and it is not intended to disrupt the tennis or interfere with fans but it will be very visible - we are fans of tennis, it's just single-use plastic and bottled water that we object to."

Backing the demonstration, celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, who co-hosted the recent BBC documentary War On Plastic, said: "Plastic production has doubled since the year 2000, and it's accelerating.

"If this trend continues, then by 2050, plastic production will be responsible for 15% of global carbon emissions.

"Recycling isn't enough. If we want the Earth and its seas to remain habitable, we need to radically reduce the amount of plastic we use - and particularly single-use plastics."

There has been growing public anxiety about the mountains of plastic waste making its way to the ocean - triggered in part by Sir David Attenborough's Blue Planet II which aired last year

There are a number of initiatives at Wimbledon this year to reduce plastic, including extra recycling bins and "eco champions" on the ground to encourage visitors to recycle.

The Met Police have been approached for comment on Extinction Rebellion's plans. ... 78536.html

Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:36 pm
Author: Anthea
The only thing scarier than an ocean full of sharks is no sharks at all

The shark is the nightmare of many people, iconic of all that is wild, terrifying and untameable about our world, but almost everything we think we know about sharks is false, and we risk losing them completely from our oceans, before we understand them at all

These awesome animals have existed on the planet for well over 400million years, long before we did, and even before trees evolved. Yet today, these stunning beasts are being quietly annihilated in our oceans, with an estimated 100million of them being killed in fisheries every single year.

That’s a huge number, too big for most of us to get our heads around, so let me give it some context.

Over decades and centuries people have caught and killed sharks, which has led to massive declines in some species and pushed many towards extinction. Today a quarter of shark and ray species are considered endangered and on the open ocean that rises to a whopping one in three species. Some populations have been so very badly affected that they’ve been reduced by 99 per cent!

Some of this is because sharks are targeted in fisheries for food, or just their fins, but a huge amount of it is so-called ‘bycatch’, when species are accidentally caught and killed in other fisheries. Bycatch simply shouldn’t happen, but when we have relentless fleets of indiscriminate fishing boats prowling the ocean, it’s a phenomenal threat to marine life, including sea birds, turtles, sharks, dolphins and whales.

It happens because huge nets, and lines of baited hooks, many kilometres long, are criss-crossing the ocean to catch fish. Sharks, possibly looking for some food themselves, get caught up, and dragged aboard with the catch to die.

Our report also found that some fisheries target sharks directly and, to make matters worse, many of these are an endangered species. The shortfin mako, thought to be the speediest shark in the ocean, is being fished to extinction.

A new report from Greenpeace shows that as many as 25,000 of these animals were killed in 2017 after quotas were given out, a staggeringly high number despite clear scientific advice recommending none be caught at all.

That’s shocking, shouldn’t be happening, and is killing our oceans as surely as it’s killing sharks

Sharks exist in the ocean as top predators, but the real top predator they have to fear is us humans. Fisheries have repeatedly failed our wildlife worldwide, driving some of our most iconic ocean creatures to the very brink – including torpedo-like bluefin tuna, serene sea turtles, soaring albatross, and yes, many, many species of sharks, too.

When it comes to regulating fishing and protecting our oceans, we are simply not doing enough. That’s even more true when it comes to the high seas, the areas outside national jurisdiction – which are basically the lawless wild west for wildlife.

Scientists reckon that at least 30 per cent of our oceans should be protected as safe sanctuaries for wildlife. That’s not only essential for healthy thriving marine life, it’s also massively important for sustaining global fish populations, and for letting our oceans cope with the impacts of climate change.

We fundamentally need to change our approach to the oceans, and luckily, it looks like we now have a genuine chance to do that. This year, countries are discussing a new Global Oceans Treaty at the United Nations.

That treaty can, and should, be the first big step to protecting our oceans and all the weird, wild and wonderful marine life they support. But it’s also about protecting our own interests too – because as well as a billion people on the planet depending on the sea for protein, you and I also depend on it for half of the oxygen we breathe, and to help us deal with the climate crisis.

Sharks are part of healthy, thriving oceans that we all depend on. They play a crucial role, balancing ocean ecosystems, and keeping other predators in check. In places where big sharks have been fished out, other smaller predators proliferate and in turn, eat too many fish and shellfish, messing up the whole food chain.

It’s now up to us to step up and say enough is enough. I for one am not going to silently sit by and not speak out while sharks are being massacred in their millions, which is why I’m supporting organisations like Greenpeace in their campaign for a strong Global Ocean Treaty.

The only thing scarier than an ocean filled with sharks, is an ocean with no sharks in it at all, so let’s not let that happen. ... -10076293/

Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 1:28 am
Author: Anthea
New bill to see animal abusers
jailed for up to 5 years

The Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill means that animal abusers could face up to five years in prison, a significant increase from the current maximum sentence of six months

This will make it one of the toughest sanctions in Europe, strengthening the UK’s position as a global leader on animal welfare.

The Bill follows a public consultation last year, in which more than 70% of people supported the proposals for tougher prison sentences. It means the courts will be able to take a tougher approach to cases such as dog fighting, abuse of puppies and kittens, or gross neglect of farm animals.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said:

“There is no place in this country for animal cruelty. That is why I want to make sure that those who abuse animals are met with the full force of the law. Our new Bill sends a clear message that this behaviour will not be tolerated, with the maximum five-year sentence one of the toughest punishments in Europe.

“I am committed to making our country the best place in the world for the care and protection of animals.”

The RSPCA received 1,175,193 calls to their 24-hour cruelty hotline in 2018 with a call every 27 seconds.

There have also been a number of cases in the last few years in which the courts said they would have handed down longer sentences had they been available.

Recent examples include a case when a man trained dogs to ruthlessly torture other animals, including trapping a fox and a terrier dog in a cage to brutally attack each other.

Animal Welfare Minister, David Rutley, said:

“These increased maximum sentences will act as a serious deterrent against cruelty and neglect in the future. This step builds on recent positive action we have taken to protect animals, including plans to ban third-party puppy and kitten sales and banning the use of wild animals in circuses.”

Claire Horton, Chief Executive of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, said:

“The introduction of this bill is a landmark achievement, which will make a profound difference to dogs and cats in England and Wales.

“We and many other rescue centres see shocking cases of cruelty and neglect come through our gates and there are many more animals that are dumped and don’t even make it off the streets. Research shows that tougher prison sentences act as a deterrent to would-be criminals, so today’s announcement should prevent the suffering of many animals in the future.”

Chief Executive for the RSPCA, Chris Sherwood, said:

“This reform is long overdue. Those responsible for extreme cruelty towards animals or those criminal gangs involved in organised animal crime will now face the tough justice they deserve.

“We need to better protect our animals and the RSPCA hopes that this new Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill will give courts the powers they need to punish those responsible for the most unimaginable cruelty to animals.

“We also believe this will act as a much stronger deterrent to others and help us stamp out animal cruelty once and for all.”

Today’s announcement complements Finn’s Law, which came into effect earlier this month and provides increased protection for service dogs and horses. It was named after a German shepherd named Finn, a police dog stabbed in the head and chest in 2016 while trying to catch a man suspected of robbing a taxi driver at gunpoint.

If passed into law, today’s Bill means that someone who attacks a police dog could face a sentence of five years in prison.

PC David Wardell, Finn’s handler said:

“I’ve always been hugely supportive of animal welfare. Hence my campaign for #Finnslaw after our incident. I was also keen to support the government’s call for increased sentencing for all animal welfare cases so that we can send out the important message that our animals matter.

“To hear the announcement today that the government is set to increase maximum sentences, #FinnsLawPart2, tenfold is fantastic news and will of course ensure that all animals, including our amazing service animals, will have the best protections available in law.

“I thank the public for their amazing support with this second and vital part of our #Finnslaw campaigns. It has been refreshing to see people get involved, politely, in politics and bring real and positive change.”

The Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill will be introduced into the House of Commons, before moving through to the House of Lords. If passed, it will come into effect in two months after it receives Royal Assent. ... wAtzAmGQPg

Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 6:02 am
Author: Piling
Macron's police gazed foreigner Ecologists who wanted to block Paris streets.

These climate activists could not imagine that French police is now almost fascist. ... protesters

Our policemen should work for Erdogan

Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 12:18 pm
Author: Anthea
French police pepper spray Paris climate protesters

Oh Nasty, I did not know they were so bad

Sadly, some people become bullies as soon as they put on a uniform

They do seem to be copying Erdogan's police, perhaps they will start rounding up anyone who does not agree with them X(

Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 4:04 pm
Author: Anthea
New Zealand Legally Recognises
Animals as ‘Sentient’ Beings'

An amendment to New Zealand law on behalf of the The Animal Welfare Amendment Bill, which was passed recently, states that animals, like humans, are “sentient” beings

“To say that animals are sentient is to state explicitly that they can experience both positive and negative emotions, including pain and distress,” said Dr Virginia Williams, chair of the National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee.

“The explicitness is what is new and marks another step along the animal welfare journey.”

The recent bill has also included a ban on the use of animals for the testing of cosmetic products. Dr Williams said the legal recognition of animal sentience provided a stronger underpinning of the requirements of the Animal Welfare Act.

Nelson SPCA manager Donna Walzl said the changes were “wonderful” and that “it’s great to finally see it brought into legislation. It’s awesome.”

She went on to explain that “you can see that they do have separation anxiety and that’s showing emotion. It’s the same with the animals that we see that are neglected and have real, true animal welfare issues. They suffer for it. You can see it in their eyes.”

The SPCA Auckland said a declaration of sentience was required considering “most New Zealand law treats animals as ‘things’ and ‘objects’ rather than as living creatures”.

Walzl said she hoped that this new change in law by recognizing animals are the sentient beings that they are would add “more weight” to abuse and neglect cases in court. “Hopefully there will be some sterner penalties out there and that obviously creates a bigger deterrent for people to do those things.”

The bill also provides for a penalty scheme to enable low-to-medium level offending to be dealt with more effectively, and gives animal welfare inspectors the power to issue compliance notices, among other measures.

“Expectations on animal welfare have been rapidly changing. The bill brings legislation in line with our nation’s changing attitude on the status of animals in society.” said New Zealand Veterinary Association president Dr Steve Merchant.

The bill was introduce to parliament by primary industries minister Nathan Guy in May, 2013.

Follow Link to Read the Animal Welfare Amendment Bill: ... _25_se&p=1

Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 4:35 pm
Author: Anthea
David Attenborough makes surprise
appearance at Glastonbury

Thousands gathered at the main stage at Glastonbury as David Attenborough made a surprise appearance at the festival

The veteran broadcaster and naturalist appeared on the Pyramid stage on Sunday afternoon, where he praised the Somerset festival for going plastic-free.

Speaking to the huge crowd, he also officially launched his new BBC series, entitled Seven Worlds, One Planet.

A huge round of applause and cheers broke out as he took to the stage, with many describing his reception as the loudest of all performers during the festival.

He told the festival: "There was one sequence in Blue Planet II which everyone seems to remember.

"It is one in which we showed what plastic has done to the creatures that live in the ocean.

"It had an extraordinary effect - and now this great festival has gone plastic-free."

He said the move had saved more than one million plastic bottles of water from being drunk.

Describing the premise behind the new series, Sir David also told the crowd how the oceans made up two-thirds of the planet, with the remaining third made up of seven continents.

He said each of the continents had its own "marvellous creatures".

"Each of them has its own glory and each of them has its own problems," he told the crowd.

Sir David then revealed that the new series would begin "later on this year".

He then played the extended trailer, featuring a new song, Out There, from Australian singer Sia, who has collaborated with composer Hans Zimmer on the track.

The trailer begins with a shot of Sir David standing on a beach, looking out over rolling waves.

The 93-year-old's distinctive voice can be heard saying: "Planet Earth has seven extraordinary continents, each one unique, each one full of life.

This is the story of those seven worlds.

"We will see how life developed on each continent and so gave rise to the extraordinary and wonderful diversity we know today and we will see why this precious diversity is being lost".

BBC Radio 1 debuted the full track at the same time as the prequel played out across screens at Glastonbury.

The prequel was also simultaneously broadcast in almost 50 countries globally at the same time as it was shown to Glastonbury audiences. ... 78916.html

Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:12 am
Author: Anthea
Japan resumes commercial whaling despite outcry

Its last commercial hunt was in 1986, but Japan has never really stopped whaling - it has been conducting instead what it says are research missions which catch hundreds of whales annually

Now the country has withdrawn from the International Whaling Commission (IWC), which banned hunting. It sent out its first whaling fleet on 1 July, with permits to catch 227 whales.

Isn't whaling banned?

Whales were brought to the brink of extinction by hunting in the 19th and early 20th Century. By the 1960s, more efficient catch methods and giant factory ships made it obvious that whale hunting could not go unchecked.

So in 1986, all IWC members agreed to a hunting moratorium to allow whale numbers to recover.

Conservationists were happy but whaling countries - like Japan, Norway and Iceland - assumed the moratorium would be temporary until everyone could agree on sustainable quotas. Instead it became a quasi-permanent ban.

But there were exceptions in the moratorium, allowing indigenous groups to carry out subsistence whaling, and allowing whaling for scientific purposes.

Tokyo put that latter clause to full use. Since 1987, Japan has killed between 200 and 1,200 whales each year, saying this was to monitor stocks to establish sustainable quotas.

Critics say this was just a cover so Japan could hunt whales for food, as the meat from the whales killed for research usually did end up for sale.

Why is Japan restarting whaling now?

In 2018 Japan tried one last time to convince the IWC to allow whaling under sustainable quotas, but failed. So it left the body, effective July 2019.

Whaling is a small industry in Japan, employing around 300 people. About five vessels are expected to set sail in July.

The whaling "will be conducted within Japan's territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zone", Hideki Moronuki of the Japanese fishing ministry told the BBC in June.

This means Japan will no longer hunt whales in the Antarctic, as it did under its earlier research programme.

The catch cap of 52 minke whales, 150 Bryde's whales and 25 sei whales is also lower than the 333 cap set for last year's research hunt.

Like other whaling nations, Japan argues hunting and eating whales are part of its culture. A number of coastal communities in Japan have indeed hunted whales for centuries but consumption only became widespread after World War Two when other food was scarce.

From the late 1940s to the mid-1960s whale was the single biggest source of meat in Japan but since become a niche product again.

Is Japan's plan legal?

"Within its 12 mile coastal waters, Japan can do whatever it wants," Donald Rothwell, professor of international law at the Australian National University, told the BBC.

Beyond that, in its 200 miles (322km) exclusive economic zone and of course the high seas, the country is bound by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Article 65 of said convention mandates that "states shall co-operate with a view to the conservation" of whales and "shall in particular work through the appropriate international organizations for their conservation, management and study".

Having left the IWC, Japan is no longer part of any such international organisation and that "directly raises questions issues whether or not Japan would be consistent with the convention," Mr Rothwell explains.

It's not clear if any country would try to bring Japan to court over this - in its defence, Japan might argue that for years it did try to co-operate within the IWC without any results.

Even if there were to be a ruling or injunction against Tokyo, there'd be no mechanism to enforce it.
What environmental impact will Japan's whaling have?

The ministry will allow for the hunting of three species: minke, Bryde's and sei whales.

According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, minke and Bryde's whale are not endangered. Sei whale are classified as endangered but their numbers are increasing.

So in terms of numbers, Japan's commercial whaling will have only a minimal impact.

In fact, some defenders of whaling argue that whale meat has a smaller carbon footprint than pork or beef.

Conservationist groups like Greenpeace or Sea Shepherd remain critical of Japan's resumption of whaling but say there are no concrete plans yet to tackle the country over this.

Japan "is out of step with the international community", Sam Annesley, executive director at Greenpeace Japan, said in a statement, urging Tokyo to abandon its hunting plans.

Besides the question of stock sustainability, a key argument against the hunt is that harpooning whales leads to a slow and painful death.

Modern hunting methods, though, aim to kill whales instantly and it backers say the near-global anti-whaling sentiment is deeply hypocritical., compared to, say, industrial meat production.

But even if Japan does defy the criticism and stick with whaling, there's a good chance the contentious issue will gradually die down by itself.

Japanese demand for whale meat has long been on the decline and the industry is already being subsidised. Eventually, commercial whaling might be undone by simple arithmetic.

Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:07 pm
Author: Anthea
Sir Ranulph Fiennes calls on UK government
to 'take a stand' against British trophy hunters

British trophy hunters are killing animals extinct in the wild and bringing their carcasses home as "trophies", Sir Ranulph Fiennes has said

The animals are those which British scientists and zoos have spent decades trying to protect.

Sir Ranulph said it was "madness" the UK government allowed for people to hunt such animals, usually at private estates, and take their heads and pelts home after so much work has gone into trying to protect them.

Extinct animals shot and brought to the UK as trophies include the scimitar-horned oryx, and the Arabian Oryx, which was hunted to extinction in 1972.

Twenty-eight trophies of scimitar-horned oryxes shot on private game reserves have been brought back to the UK by British hunters since 2007, most recently in 2018.

This elegant antelope, which is believed to be behind the myth of the unicorn, went extinct in the wild in 2000. British zoos, including ZSL Whipsnade, have been fighting to reintroduce it into its natural habitat since the 1980s.

At the same time, tourists from the UK have been travelling to private estates which house the remaining animals.

An emergency Arabian oryx captive breeding programme using zoo animals has allowed some animals to be reintroduced back into the wild. The UK government allowed a British hunter to import an Arabian Oryx trophy he had shot in 2014.

Sir Ranulph was on Wednesday at a reception in Parliament campaigning to ban the import of trophies from endangered animals to the UK.

He said: “It was amazing some years ago to see the gazelle and oryx in the wild, but sadly rich people turned up and shot them, and their population plummeted. The scimtar oryx almost became extinct.

“Brits tried to help save the scimtar oryx population, but it is so sad to see that it is now extinct in the wild thanks to people, including British people, travelling to kill them now."

He called on the UK government to "take a stand and make this crime against nature a crime by law."

The explorer added: “British authorities allow trophy hunters to bring body parts of endangered species into the UK."

“The UK has given permission to hunters to import trophies from animals extinct in the wild including the scimitar-horned oryx. It’s madness.”

Eduardo Gonçalves of the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting said: “People will be absolutely astonished that Defra has issued multiple permits for hunters to bring back trophies of animals they have shot which are not only critically endangered, but in some cases are extinct in the wild and only survive in a few private game reserves.

“The only use those animals should be put to is to support breeding and reintroduction programmes.

“Keeping extinct animals alive just so they can be part of some tawdry captive shooting gallery is obscene. It makes a mockery of the ludicrous claims to trophy hunting having any conservation benefit."

Zac Goldsmith, the Conservative MP for Richmond, added: "We cannot continue to call ourselves a nation of animal lovers if we continue to allow trophy hunting, which is not only cruel but fuels an illegal wildlife trade."

A Defra spokesperson said: “The Environment Secretary believes trophy hunting provokes profound moral and ethical questions about the way we treat animals, and any policy decisions must be based on robust evidence.

“He is aware that among conservationists and those who care deeply about wildlife, there are different views on whether trophy hunting should be allowed. The recent roundtable showed the strong desire on all sides to ensure wildlife is conserved, but also underlined the many opinions on the best way to achieve this.

“The Secretary of State will hold further discussions on this critical issue to ensure we find the right solutions.” ... Y_1DvXv99E

Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:12 pm
Author: Anthea
The nuclear battle on the Suffolk coast

Joan Girling has been fighting the nuclear industry most of her adult life.

She was at school when the new Magnox reactor was begun on the Suffolk coast at Sizewell in the 1960s

Her father told her it was a "necessary evil".

But when she moved to Leiston, just a few miles from the nuclear power station, and work began on Sizewell B in the 1980s, she could no longer ignore it.

"The traffic and the noise was so bad... I had to move house to the other side of Leiston. I had three children. I couldn't let them be exposed to that," she said.

Then in 1989 the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) proposed a Sizewell C and Joan decided she had to do something.

At a fractious meeting at the Leiston Film Theatre in the High Street opposite the fish and chip shop, she founded Community Against Sizewell C.

Joan and an array of other anti-nuclear groups won that fight. Sizewell C was cancelled. The plan was resurrected in 1993 and Joan helped fight and win that one as a local councillor. But she has no illusions about what swung the argument.

"It was the finances that didn't work out for them, " she says resignedly. "Not the environment. It's always finance that has the final say."

Joan picks her way along what botanists call the "vegetative shingle" that lies on the beach in front of the Sizewell dome, and spots plants like one might spot old friends: "There's Sea Campion, and Lady's Bedstraw. There's Sea Kale and Sea Holly. That one there is a sedum. The Sea Pea, that lives further up the beach."

The CEGB is now long gone. Today it is the giant French energy group EDF who wants to build Sizewell C. The protestors now call themselves Together Against Sizewell C (TASC).

In the next few weeks the plans will go to the Planning Inspectorate and then on to Secretary of State. If it is approved Joan expects ten years or more of construction, millions of tonnes of aggregate roaring in by road or rail, spoil heaps and a campus of more than 6,000 workers, on what she calls "my beloved coast."

"Look at the pictures of Hinkley Point in Somerset. Look at that mess. I don't want that here," she says

In the 1980s, while Joan was campaigning against Sizewell B, Jim Crawford was starting his career at Torness nuclear power station. Today he is EDF's Project Development Director at Sizewell. Nuclear is almost as much a part of him as his Glaswegian accent.

While Joan talks of Fukushima, of Chernobyl, of the cracks and mishaps in France's Flamanville plant, wall after wall of Jim's offices carry posters proclaiming EDF's relentless pursuit of safety.

For Jim, the nuclear argument is one of necessity. Coal is being phased out by 2025. If we are to meet the zero-carbon emissions target by 2050, gas will have to be cut as well. Half our aging nuclear capacity is going to be decommissioned by the end of the next decade.

Meanwhile, we will need more electricity not less, as the economy demands more electricity for data centres, cars, trains, even, some believe, planes. Renewables will not be enough says EDF.

As for the cost, Mr Crawford says duplication is the key: "For the first time the UK has an opportunity to build a fleet of Pressurised Water Reactors, all of them the same.

"If, in a few years, you were to go into the turbine hall at Sizewell or Hinckley you shouldn't be able to know which one you're in. That brings down costs, spare parts, training, maintenance and minimises regulatory approval."

A proven duplicated design should mean less risk to investors, which in turn brings down the cost of borrowed money, arguably the biggest cost of all: while Hinkley Point pays its investors 9% interest, Sizewell, hopes to borrow at 5-6%. That's a lot less when you're borrowing billions.

Sizewell and Hinkley would then be a blueprint for a nuclear future.

Sizewell is hemmed in with every kind of protected area. Philip Ridley, Head of Planning and Coastal Management at East Suffolk Council, admits: "If you were looking for a place to build a nuclear power station you could not have chosen a more environmentally sensitive spot."

The whole coast is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The shingle beach is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Sizewell Marshes, just behind the plant is a Special Protected Area (SPA). The Leiston Sandlings to the south are another SPA. There's even an ancient monument nearby, Leiston Abbey.

But Mr Ridley believes a compromise can be reached. After all, there are thousands of jobs, local supply chains, skills and training that will all follow in Sizewell C's wake.

But it is hard to compromise on Minsmere, a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and an SSSI. The thousand hectares of marsh, less than a mile to the north, is the pride of the RSPB, where in 1947 the avocet, now the emblem of the charity, started breeding again for the first time in 100 years. It is home to 5,800 plant and animal species, marsh harriers, otters, water voles and bearded tits.

Adam Rowlands, Minsmere senior site manager, says: "For the RSPB, the scale of risk is higher than anything else we have ever been faced with before.

"The proposed footprint extends into the marshes behind the site which is managed by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust, and we are concerned at the loss of habitat over the ten years of construction due to noise and light and disturbances, and also the effects on the water table."

At the moment Minsmere's water levels are delicately controlled by sluices. Mr Rowlands says any unexpected rise or fall of a few centimetres could flood nests and destroy habitats.

It's not just the fresh water inland but the salt water of the North Sea that worries the RSPB.

It is an unpredictable and mobile coastline. The RSPB fears that higher sea defences and a concrete landing strip for barges could drastically alter the shoreline - and Minsmere.
Jim Crawford
Image caption Jim Crawford in Sizewell B's turbine hall

In response EDF has issued lengthy consultation papers. The local Suffolk Wildlife Trust's response to the latest and most detailed one is littered with references to "inadequate assessment".

What's more, there are fears EDF will only release a full assessment immediately before the plans go before the Planning Inspectorate, giving local groups little time to respond.

Jim Crawford insists the whole process is one of constant negotiation: "Don't imagine we are going to keep everything quiet, say nothing and then at the last minute go ta-da! and surprise everyone. No. This is a process of continual negotiation and talking."

Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:46 pm
Author: Anthea
Europe could get 10 times it's
electricity needs from onshore wind

An increased rollout of onshore wind turbines across Europe could technically provide the continent with more than 10 times its existing electricity needs, according to a new paper

To make their estimate, a team of German researchers took into account changing wind speeds, all the available land and, crucially, futuristic turbine designs that are already coming onto the market.

While they note that generating 100% of Europe’s power from wind would not actually be feasible due to social, economic and political constraints, the scientists say their estimate gives a “significantly higher” figure than most previous assessments of wind potential.

Their paper, published in the journal Energy, also suggests that, as technology advances, the cost of the resulting electricity will be cheaper than previous studies have estimated.

Some nations, including the UK, have struggled with political opposition to onshore wind. However, with the EU facing ambitious climate targets in the coming years, wind is expected to be the biggest contributor to the region’s power supply within less than a decade.

Renewable goals

As it stands, the EU is aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% by 2050 compared to 1990, amid mounting pressure on member states to agree to a net-zero target.

Achieving these goals will require an enormous shift across the continent to renewable power sources. Germany has already pledged to switch almost totally to renewables by the middle of the century.

Wind – particularly onshore wind – is expected to make a significant contribution to these targets. The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) World Energy Outlook last year concluded wind energy is set to overtake coal, nuclear and gas and become the EU’s largest power source by 2027.

However, as demonstrated by the UK – where cuts to government subsidies and tighter planning rules have effectively blocked onshore wind’s progress since 2015 – political, social and economic factors have added significant uncertainty to the future of this technology.

Various studies have attempted to estimate the wind capacity of the entire continent, adding to the body of evidence concerning the technology’s feasibility. These studies take into account factors such as weather patterns and hypothetical locations for windfarms to gauge the maximum potential wind power has across the region.

These studies have tended to estimate a total European capacity of between around 8 and 12 terawatts (TW), which would result in a total annual generation of between 16 and 21 petawatt hours (PWh). Given the annual electricity generation for Europe – according to BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy – is just 3.6PWh, this already vastly exceeds the amount required on the continent.

However, in their new paper the authors explain that they think this is an underestimate when considering future wind generation potential in Europe.

Futuristic designs

The figure the researchers arrive at is 13.4TW of installable wind capacity across Europe, only marginally higher than previous estimates.

However, the big step up comes from their estimate of average annual generation potential, which is 34.3PWh. This is 13PWh higher than the nearest estimate made by other scientists and 10 times more power than the BP data suggests Europe uses today.

In their paper, the authors attribute this discrepancy partly to their methods of identifying eligible land for windfarm construction and estimating weather. Crucially, they also emphasise their focus on futuristic turbine designs of the type that are expected to become standard in the coming years
Source Eligible land
[106 km2] Capacity
[TW] Generation
[PWh] Average FLH
[kWh kW1]
This Study 1.35 13.4 34.3 2560
Bosch et al. 1.23 12.4 21.3 1724
Eurek et al. 1.99 10.0 21.1 2117
Stetter n/a 8.7 21.5 2471
McKenna et al. 0.94 8.4 16.4 1946
Zappa and Broek n/a 0.543 n/a n/a
IEA n/a n/a 11.5 n/a
JRC n/a n/a n/a 3942

Table showing estimates of total European onshore wind coverage, capacity, generation and full load hours (FLH), as estimated by different research groups. (Ryberg et al., 2019)

David Severin Ryberg, a PhD student at the Forschungszentrum Jülich in North Rhine-Westphalia who led the study, explains to Carbon Brief why this is so important:

“The use of futuristic turbine designs has a major impact on the outcome of these generation potential investigations and, by extension, will drastically change the result of hypothetical energy system design efforts.”

Over the past decade, there has been a steady increase in turbine capacity, hub height and rotor diameter, and these trends are expected to continue. While other studies have used contemporary turbines as their baseline, Ryberg and his colleagues chose instead to use a futuristic turbine that they think will be widespread by 2050.

They say its features represent “conservative estimates” of future norms based on the historical rate of change and note that such a design aligns with a projection described as “likely” by the IEA. Furthermore, such turbines already exist in the form of the Vestas V136, 4.2MW wind turbine, which made its debut earlier this year in Denmark’s first subsidy-free windfarm.

Andrew Canning from trade association WindEurope tells Carbon Brief it is “highly likely” that “better, more efficient and more powerful turbines” will continue to emerge in the near future:

“We’re definitely seeing a trend over the past few years where wind turbines are becoming more efficient. They have grown in height certainly, but they’ve also become more efficient. They can work at slower and higher wind speeds allowing them to capture more of the wind more of the time, meaning they generate more electricity [for a given installed capacity].”

These newer turbines have the potential to be used in the “repowering” of existing windfarms as well. This is where turbines at an old windfarm are replaced at the end of their life, with newer and often larger models.

Canning notes the case of El Carbito onshore windfarm in Spain, which saw its power capacity boosted from 22.8MW to 31MW after 90 first generation turbines were replaced with 15 new ones.

Location and cost

To undertake their analysis, the researchers first ruled out everywhere that was unsuitable for windfarm construction. This included excluding 800m zones around all settlements and 1.2km zones around the most densely populated areas. More exclusion zones were placed around a wide variety of locations, ranging from airports and power lines to protected bird habitats and campsites.

Even after this effort, the researchers were left with a total area of 1.3 million square kilometres – roughly a quarter of Europe’s entire land area – where windfarms could theoretically be built. This is within roughly the same range as past studies.

They then used an algorithm to identify the maximum number of installation sites for turbines and a simulation to determine the hourly generation at those sites over the course of a 37-year lifespan.

This is where the new projection diverges from previous studies. The combination of increased overall capacity and increased efficiency of the new turbines means it estimates a far higher generation potential. The authors note this significant uptick is not distributed evenly across Europe, with nations benefiting from strong winds, such as the UK, Denmark and Ireland, seeing the biggest potential gains.

Ryberg and his team also consider the cost of wind power under European renewable energy scenarios that have been outlined in the literature. They find that futuristic turbines were able to produce electricity at a cheaper rate than contemporary designs, in part due to their ability to withstand lulls in wind speed better and, therefore, operate with less backup storage. Even in areas where the most windfarms are constructed, they conclude that electricity costs from wind are unlikely to exceed €0.06 per kWh (5p), the study says.

The future of wind

Ryberg notes that their paper is based on a hypothetical situation. While they were careful to exclude unrealistic turbines built “on top of a school”, for example, that does not mean a quarter of Europe would ever realistically be covered in windfarms. He explains why he does not think Europe is heading towards en entirely wind-driven future:

“Much of this technical generation potential would not be economically attractive. Furthermore, the geospatial distribution does not correspond perfectly to all energy demand areas – for example, we find a high wind-generation potential in Sweden, which has a relatively low energy demand compared to Germany, France, Italy and the UK…In addition to this, the ‘intermittency’ of wind is a well-known concept which could make an all-wind European energy system costly – due to energy storage and transmission requirements – and difficult to manage.”

However, this does not mean the paper lacks real-world implications. While politicians in places such as Poland and the UK have resisted onshore wind in recent years, Canning says polls show the European public to be “overwhelmingly” in favour of the technology.

The study conducted by Ryberg and his team shows that not only is an extensive rollout of wind power conceivable, it is likely to be cheap. These facts “speak for themselves”, says Canning, and should influence the decisions of politicians formulating their national energy and climate plans in a bid to meet European emissions goals.

Ryberg says the use of only existing turbine designs when trying to gauge the future systems powering Europe might add bias to their design, putting people off investing in any locations that are not traditionally “strong” for wind power. Using his team’s more up-to-date simulation, he explains the scope can be far broader:

“Since policymakers must rely on these hypothetical energy system evaluations in order to inform their decisions, it is clear that the use of futuristic turbine designs should lead to further proliferation and support for the wind energy sector in Europe.” ... study-says

Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:48 pm
Author: Anthea
Extinction Rebellion prosecutions
'beggar belief', says lawyer

A lawyer representing hundreds of Extinction Rebellion protesters said it "beggars belief" so many of them are being prosecuted

It comes as two courtrooms are being set aside for a day each week at Westminster Magistrates' Court for 19 weeks, to deal with Extinction Rebellion protesters arrested in mass demonstrations across the capital.

Around 35 protesters are due to appear at City of London magistrates' court on Friday, while it is thought more than 50 will be summonsed every Friday in August.

Solicitor Raj Chada, from Hodge Jones and Allen, which represents around 300 of the protesters, who were calling for action on climate issues, said the prosecutions are a waste of money.

"To prosecute 1,000 people for peaceful protests beggars belief," he said.

"At a time when more and more violent crimes aren't being prosecuted the CPS has decided to waste taxpayers's money by dragging all of those arrested from Extinction Rebellion in front of the courts.

"Figures show that around nine per cent of crimes in the UK lead to a criminal charge, yet when it comes to peaceful protesters they are trying to charge 100 per cent.

"The simple fact is that most of those protesters will get nothing more than a conditional discharge or fine.

"How can this amount of court time and money be wasted on this? The priority should be to tackle the climate crisis that threatens us rather than the prosecution of peaceful protesters."

But a senior Met officer insisted protesters had chosen to ignore restrictions put in place by police to try to limit the disruption.

Commander Jane Connors said: "The serious disruption caused to people in central London during the Extinction Rebellion demonstrations in April was beyond unacceptable.

"As ever, our policing focus was to balance the right to protest while ensuring Londoners could continue to go about their daily business.

"However, protesters continually chose to ignore the conditions imposed by the MPS in order to keep London moving. As a result an exceptionally large number of arrests were made in order to contain the serious disruption that was being caused.

"This had a significant impact on local policing as thousands of officers were diverted away from core local duties and asked to work extended 12-hour shifts. We now have a dedicated team in place to follow up and thoroughly investigate all arrests that were made.

"We previously stated our intention to progress each and every case in relation to these protests, and we will continue to work closely with the CPS to bring those responsible for this disorder before the courts."

The Metropolitan Police said 10 people have already been through the courts, with seven convicted of a criminal offence and three cases discontinued.

More than 1,000 activists were arrested over the protest action that brought parts of central London to a standstill in April.

So far 232 files of evidence have been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service.

The Metropolitan Police said in May it would push for all the 1,151 people arrested, including Olympic gold medal-winning canoeist Etienne Stott, to face charges.

So far 180 have been charged, one cautioned for outraging public decency and 32 have been released with no further action, while the hundreds remaining are still under consideration.

The Extinction Rebellion group's tactics included asking volunteers to deliberately get arrested to cause maximum disruption at roadblocks on Waterloo Bridge, Oxford Circus and Marble Arch.

Others glued themselves to trains and buildings.

Extinction Rebellion said while activists would welcome the chance to have their day in court, the burden on the criminal justice system was not justifiable.

"The burden this tsunami of cases will place on the courts is unprecedented and will impact the day to day work of the criminal justice system," the group said.

"With most defendants likely to receive a conditional discharge, the waste of court time and resource is unjustifiable." ... 88226.html

UK legal system is rubbish - our police are rubbish - they are useless at catching criminals - so they have to pick on innocent people who want nothing other than to protect this planet for future generations, including the descendants of the police who persecute them

Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:03 am
Author: Anthea
Extinction Rebellion protests
block traffic in five UK cities

Group brings boats with slogan ‘Act Now!’ to London, Cardiff, Leeds, Bristol and Glasgow

The environmental activist group Extinction Rebellion has carried out protests in five UK cities, marking the start of what it describes as a “summer uprising”.

Monday’s demonstrations – targeting London, Cardiff, Leeds, Bristol and Glasgow – caused disruption to traffic in parts of the cities. The group is calling for greater government action on the climate crisis.

Protests in each city are focusing on a different ecological threat – rising sea levels, floods, wildfires, crop failures and extreme weather. The group has installed large boats in each location, branded with the message “Act Now!”

Extinction Rebellion is demanding that the government prevent further losses to biodiversity and commit to producing net zero greenhouse gases by 2025.

The group said it would carry out “creative acts of civil disobedience” including blocking roads and bridges, and hold educational workshops. Activists in London have promised to continue the action for a week.

More than 15 police vans accompanied a crowd outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London, where about 250 protesters blocked the Strand.

“I’m involved because I have children and I want them not to starve and die in social collapse. If you look at what scientists are saying, that’s what’s coming,” said Roc Sandford, a 61-year-old organic farmer.

Wilf, 50, a teacher who did not give his surname, said: “We’ve all read the science, we know the story, the whole phase of denial is over and if it takes civil disobedience to make a difference then so be it.”

Bristol Bridge was closed as a result of the protests and South Wales police said roads in Cardiff city centre were blocked.

Extinction Rebellion disrupted London and other cities with 11 days of protests in April that it cast as the biggest act of civil disobedience in recent British history.

As the crisis escalates…

… in our natural world, we refuse to turn away from the climate catastrophe and species extinction. For The Guardian, reporting on the environment is a priority. We give reporting on climate, nature and pollution the prominence it deserves, stories which often go unreported by others in the media.

At this pivotal time for our species and our planet, we are determined to inform readers about threats, consequences and solutions based on scientific facts, not political prejudice or business interests. ... -uk-cities

Re: Updates: polution; hunting; animal slaughter; climate ch

PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:12 am
Author: Anthea
Climate protesters blocking key city centre road

Climate protesters have blocked a key city centre road in Cardiff, with commuters warned to expect disruption

A number of members of Extinction Rebellion are outside Cardiff Castle and have parked a green boat in the middle of the street.

One protester, who called himself Livvy, said the group wanted to raise awareness about climate change.

South Wales Police warned motorists to expect disruption during the "five-day national campaign" of protests.

Cardiff Bus said it was experiencing severe delays to services.

Police have closed the road to vehicles from the junction with Queen Street to Westgate Street.
A boat has been placed in the middle of the busy road Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption A boat has been placed in the middle of the busy road

Cardiff is one of "five centres of disruption" planned by the group, with others due to take place in Leeds, Glasgow, London and Bristol.

"We want to achieve some serious changes by the government, we are hoping to raise awareness, get people talking about it," said Livvy.

"If you weigh it up against the disruption down the line, this is nothing compared to what will happen if we do nothing.

"We are going to hold this site as long as we can. We fully intend for it to remain peaceful for the duration, we don't want any aggression or violence."

Extinction Rebellion Wales said the Cardiff protest was aimed at highlighting the need for the Welsh Government to "dramatically accelerate its actions in tackling the climate crisis and ecological emergency".

Staci Sylvan, 40, from the group, said: "In Carmarthen, where I live, we suffered a massive flood last October, we have never seen anything like it before.

"Out of a population of about 10,000, 100 were displaced or made homeless. Some of these people have been re-homed, but some still have no home.

"This has affected people on low incomes the most as there are no more houses available for them. Also there are some businesses who have not yet managed to reopen, maybe they never will.

"To me this is an issue about my children's future but also about equality, it is always the poorest people who suffer most from climate-related disasters.

"I want the government to do something about it now, not wait for more disasters and more people to suffer."

Protester Liz Shaw, 28, from Pembrokeshire, said: "I don't feel like I'm putting myself or others at risk. I got up at 4.30am today to be here.

"I got involved after the April rebellion because I felt people didn't realise the urgency of climate change. We have only got 12 years left."

Macey Gray, 20, from Bethesda, Gwynedd, volunteers full time with Extinction Rebellion.
Rowena and Bella have glued themselves to part of the boat in Castle Street

"I quit my job as a shop assistant at Bangor University in April. My heart wasn't in my shop job. But I felt so helpless I the climate crisis," she said.

"We're planning on camping here till Wednesday, maybe longer."

Rowena, 33, from Oswestry, and Belle, 17. from Shrewsbury, have glued themselves to the boat. Rowena added: "I feel very privileged to be able to give up my freedom for the cause."

The protest has been supported by Bishop of Llandaff, the Right Reverend June Osborne, who said: "We support peaceful protests that raise awareness of the need to act now, to find the political will to protect the interests of future generations."